I may not be that old yet.
But when I was little, this feast day was called “3 Kings”.
Today, we no longer have the feast day of the “3 Kings”.
We now call this feast day as Epiphany.
Why was the name of this feast day changed?
Because with naming the feast day “3 Kings”, we might only focus on the 3 wise men. Three wise men.
But if the feast day is called Epiphany Epiphany means to declare, then it means that the feast day can be multiplied. Then by next week, we shall have another epiphany event. Because everyday, we are witness to God’s love.
Sometimes, the epiphany is a crib.
Sometimes, the epiphany is a small infant.
Other times, the epiphany is in someone bearing a cross.
Other times, the epiphany is the baptism in the river Jordan.
Other times, the epiphany is the last supper. Transfiguration.
All of these are epiphanies.
These are why the epiphany is of great importance and right here we have The Nazareno ng Quiapo (The Black Nazarene from Quiapo) which tells us –
I am showing you that I am with you, not only during the time when there is a cute baby in the crib. I am with you as you carry your own cross in your everyday life.
But for this week, let us look at the 3 wise men. The magi. They are wise men, not just intelligent, but experts. But it was not just these three wise men who saw.
The truth of what happened – the infant child being born in a manger and the guiding star – many witnessed this. Everyone then saw this. But their response were varied.
The wise men saw the star, the star that was shining extraordinarily bright.
So they said, this must mean something.
The son of God was born to save all of mankind.
We must search for this baby.
No angel revealed this to them.
No religious leader…no priests…no bishops who told them about this. It was nature that gave them the answer.
And when they saw the star, they sought for its meaning.
They followed their curiosity.
This means, they listened to the whisper coming from their soul.
There were whispers coming from their spirit,
whispers emanating from their heart.
And from these whispers, they chose to leave the comfort of their homes…
They chose to leave their families…
To search according to the whispers coming from within their souls.
The second who heard about the savior child being born was Herod. A king. King Herod. But his was a different response. What was his reaction?
He called for advisors.
He called for experts.
He called for professionals.
He called for astrologers.
He called for priests.
He called for professionals.
And Herod asked the experts – What does it mean?
What is this about a Messiah that I should know?
But the truth is, he called for these so-called experts, whose answers he would like to hear.
Can you tell? When you ask about something and the tendency is to look for someone who will give you the answer that you want to hear. You don’t want to ask that person whose answer you know you wouldn’t like.
He was not listening to himself.
He was not listening to his soul.
He was listening to the survey.
He was listening to what others will say.
And what the majority says, I will just follow.
The third who heard about the savior child being born were the scribes. Experts when it comes to the law.
They are like lawyers. They know the law.
They write the law.
And it was said, this child was indeed born and He is the Messiah.
But there was a part of the child’s story that they refused to accept.
That even the foreigners shall be saved.
That even foreigners shall come and worship.
They said, it was an unacceptable. This is ours and ours alone.
They did not want for others who are not like them to be saved.
They did not want the foreigners to be saved.
They did not want those who are not their fellow countrymen to be saved. This belongs to us alone. God belongs only to us.
What is this whisper?
It is the whisper of personal interest.
Whisper from the self.
It serves my personal interest so it should belong only to me.
Let us look at the whispers that the 3 listened to.
First, the whisper coming from the soul.
Second, the whisper coming from the majority.
Third, the whisper coming from one’s personal interest.
Where do you stand now?
Where does your decision lie?
There are many things we must decide on.
Maybe in 2022, some of you will decide to get married.
Maybe in 2022, some of you will be entering college.
Maybe in 2022, some of you will be graduating then will be looking for their first job.
Will transfer to a new home or will purchase a new vehicle.
Or will be choosing your course for college.
In 2022, there will be many decisions to be made.
Parto of 2022 is the elections, right?
It is also decision-making.
Getting married. New job. House and Lot. Your course in college. Your chose vocation. The elections.
It’s all about choosing and making the proper decision.
Now, my dear brothers and sisters, my question to you is how do you make your decision?
Is it listening to the whisper coming from your soul?
Or will you choose to marry the old and wealthy guy who will expire soon?
How do you make your decision?
Because you’re Ilokano (from Ilocos region), then you automatically support the Ilokano candidate?
How do you make decisions?
Is it based on what your horoscope says?
How do you decide on when you will get married?
Will you base it on the lunar calendar?
How do you decide?
Do you base it on who’s number 1 in the survey because you’d rather vote for the candidate most likely to win so as not to waste your vote. I want to win so I will vote for the winnable candidate based on who’s number 1 in the survey. Is that how it should be done?
My dear brothers and sisters, whispers emanate from the soul.
And those whispers come from God.
There are whispers coming from the many others but those whispers are fickle.
There are whispers of personal interest but there are selfish reasons behind it.
The truth is, my dear brothers and sisters, there is but one lesson from the epiphany.
You must listen to the whispers from your conscience.
Not to the whispers from the surveys.
Not to the whispers from one’s personal interest.
Not from the whispers that considers only personal gains.
Instead, the whispers from the conscience considers the common good.
The truth is, my dear brothers and sisters, everyday is an epiphany.
However, sometimes you become like Herod.
Sometimes, you become like the selfish scribe.
Can we not learn from the 3 wise men?
Listen to the whisper of your conscience.
Listen to the whisper of your soul.
Because even if you are already witnessing it, you still choose to close your eyes.
You were given your own two feet, but you still refuse to stand.
You were already awaken to the truth, but you pretend to be asleep.
When will you wake up?
When will you open your eyes?
When will you stand for what is right?
When you have nothing more to give.
When you already see but you choose to keep your eyes closed.
Be careful. You might lose your sight forever.
When you are given your own two feet to stand for what is right but you refused to stand and instead just went with the flow.
Be careful. You might become crippled.
When you were awakened in the middle of the night and you were guided to the light yet you still pretended to sleep.
Be careful. You might not wake up from your sleep.